Author: Grandy, Christopher
What happened during the decade of the 1990s to cause Hawaii’s once full economic sails to deflate, leaving the economy in the doldrums? What can Hawaii’s leaders do to revive economic growth – or can anything be done? What lessons does this period of prolonged economic stagnation hold for those who care about Hawaii’s future?
The author recounts many of the external and internal events that affected Hawaii during the 1990s and their long-term economic impact. Following a lengthly period of denial and inaction, Hawaii leaders began exploring a wide variety of policies designed to remove perceived competitive barriers and stimulate the economy. These efforts culminated in policy initiatives that may have assured Governor Ben Cayetanos re-election in 1998. Subsequent economic recovery permitted the pursuit of more questionable economic policies, but the tragic events of 9/11 are a reminder of the tenuous nature of Hawaiis economic recovery.